Monday, October 27, 2014

Coca-Cola, Pepsi give $1 million each to oppose GMO labeling

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Natural News | Oct 26, 2014 | Julie Wilson

The fight for the Right to Know what's in our food continues as both Colorado and Oregon launch campaigns promoting the mandatory GMO-labeling initiative that voters will see on the November 4 ballot.

If passed, Colorado's Proposition 105 would mandate labeling of genetically modified (GM) ingredients on products sold beginning July 1, 2016, reports the Coloradoan. Oregon's proposed Measure 92 would require similar mandates including any food products containing GMOs be clearly labeled.

As with California's 2012 Prop 37, the biotech industry has made its ominous presence known by dumping millions toward fighting Right to Know campaigns in both Colorado and Oregon.

Biotech industry spending more to fight GMO labeling than it would cost to actually label products

Gratefully, The Cornucopia Institute, an organic watchdog group, has kept a close eye on which companies are donating to fight GMO food labeling votes, with some of the latest assistance totaling nearly $3 million.

The European Union (EU) strictly enforces GMO labeling, making GMOs difficult to find because of their unpopularity. Consumer attitude supported by mandatory labeling in the EU has cost the biotech industry a lot of money, which they fear will also happen in the U.S. if labeling is passed.

This fear of losing profits is made transparent by expensive anti-GMO-labeling donations such as Coca-Cola's recent $1.168 million. As of October 16, PepsiCo has put up another $1 million, making their grand total $1.4 million.

Monsanto, arguably one of the companies that stands to lose the most if GMO labeling is passed, has spent a whopping $8,836,650 against Right to Know campaigns in Colorado and Oregon.

Kraft recently donated $870K, while Land O' Lakes contributed an additional $900K and Kellogg $250K, Cornucopia reports. Supporting the Right to Know, the Center for Food Safety gave $1 million, while Dr. Bonner's put up $285K. Presence Marketing donated $175K, and the Organic Consumers Association gave $100K.

Big Food fears if labeling is passed the public will know how terrible their food really is

Big Food has spent nearly $12 million on fighting Measure 92 in Oregon, compared with $4.8 million given by labeling proponents, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Oddly, not quite the same amount of money is being thrown around in Colorado, but the biotech industry has still vastly outspent labeling supporters, donating a whopping $9.7 million compared to just $334K from proponents.

The Denver-based fast food chain Chipotle has grabbed attention by going heads up against Monsanto, voicing their support for GMO labeling. "Fundamentally, we believe that people have a right to know what's in the food they eat," said Chipotle chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells.

"Consumers want this information, and we are already giving it to them. But well-funded opposition groups continue to fight labeling efforts, with opponents putting their own profits ahead of consumer preferences."

In response, Monsanto, which has spent $4.7 million in Colorado to fight labeling, maintains that they "oppose current initiatives to mandate labeling of ingredients developed from GM seeds in the absence of any demonstrated risks."

"Such mandatory labeling could imply that food products containing these ingredients are somehow inferior to their conventional or organic counterparts," said the GM crop producer.

There's that fear again. The biotech industry doesn't want the public knowing that their products are inferior, and beyond on that, deadly.

Ben and Jerry's owner Jerry Greenfield has long been outspoken about his support for GMO labeling and hopes to sway voters in Oregon by naming one of his ice cream flavors "Food Fight Fudge Brownie," which will only be available in Oregon scoop shops.

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